|Those were the days ...Small Beginnings|
|Friday, May 24, 2013 11:54 PM|
No matter how well known or how great a person becomes, we all start out small. Yes, I know some are born into wealth and favored position because of their parents or other family members. But no matter what advantages or disadvantages we inherit, we have the opportunity to do something with our small beginnings.
My small beginning started on March 13, 1948. My 19-year-old dad, and 17-year-old mom didn’t have much money or possessions, but they had me and their love for one another. By the time I became a toddler, we were able to rent a house in the country. We had a vegetable garden, a well from which we pumped water and an outhouse. It wasn’t much (as you can see from the picture) but it was our home and another step in our journey as a family.
Proverbs 15:16-17 says, “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.”
Several decades have passed since our time in the little house at the top of the hill in Rockport, West Virginia, but I’m grateful for the pictures and memories I have of our time there.
As a young man I had a desire to become rich and famous. I wanted to be a success. Those daydreams have long ago been replaced by the hope of wanting to live a life of love and making a positive difference in the lives of my family and church families I’ve been blessed to pastor. I’ve lived in a lot of different cities and houses but “home” is the place where love and family dwell. I may never live in a mansion, but I want to live my life following the example given by Jesus Christ. Jesse Jackson said, “We must not measure greatness from the mansion down, but from the manger up.” How true that is.
In 1999, we received a call from Rev. Robert Crabtree, who was serving as the District Superintendent of the Ohio District Assemblies of God. He told me there was a hurting church in Delphos, Ohio, and that it needed someone to go and love them. As he was praying about the church, he said he thought of my wife and I and wondered if we would be interested in the opportunity (should the Lord open the door) of moving to Delphos and loving the church family back to health.
After much prayer, interviews, and two sermons we were elected to become the new pastor and wife of Delphos First Assembly of God and made Delphos our home in January 2000.
We’ve worked hard and done our best to love and serve the people of our church and the surrounding communities. We’ve experienced many wonderful days and seen people saved, healed, reconciled and prayers answered. We’ve conducted marriages, dedicated children, baptized people and rejoiced with those that God has blessed in so many wonderful ways. We’ve also conducted funerals, seen people move away, others leave, and wept with those that were hurting. Some days I feel good about what we and the people of our church have accomplished as we’ve partnered with God to grow His church. Some days I feel like I’ve failed because we haven’t been able to grow the church back to the numerical level it had in the 1980s.
We recently saw Brother Crabtree, who is now retired. He remembered his phone call to us and was so happy to hear that we are still at Delphos. We exchanged a handshake and a hug. Before we parted ways, we smiled and looked into one another’s eyes with a look of understanding that is only known by those who taken up their cross and followed Jesus.
Are the church’s greatest years ahead, or behind? I believe they are ahead. Will Janie and I be here when God takes Delphos First Assembly and the churches of our area who are praying to another level? I hope so. Will our years here be considered as success or failure? I guess that depends on how success is measured.
I hope we have loved and loved well. Delphos First Assembly is a church where you can find safety, love, and acceptance. It feels like “home” to us. If you don’t have a church home, we invite you to join us and to come “home.”
I’ve spent time with people who have had great worldly success and also been blessed to spend time with great men and women of God. I’ve come to the understanding that we all have the opportunity to do something significant with our lives even though we all had small beginnings.
|Last Updated on Friday, May 24, 2013 11:59 PM|